Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hawaii... Part 3 (And 4. And Maybe 5)

Well, my Hawaii adventure is officially over.  I seriously think I'm having withdrawals from the beach and the sunshine.  And I'm already agonizing over losing my tan.


Part 3: No one told me to bring long johns.  

What they should really put in the Big Island guidebook is that you probably won't see any actual lava.  Don't get me wrong... seeing the glow of lava at night was pretty darn cool.  But besides the illusion of lava, we really didn't see anything but rocks.  A lot of rocks.  So. Many. Rocks.

Walking the lava rock wasteland.
The other thing that should be in the guidebook?  How bloody, freaking cold it was on the volcano side of the mountain.  At least we brought sweatshirts and wore yoga pants.  It could have been worse - I saw people grossly unprepared.  That gift shop must make a killing off of sweatshirt sales.  It's probably the only place in all of Hawaii that sells more sweatshirts than anything else.

We saw almost every major volcano site on the Big Island.  We even saw where the lava flowed into the transfer station. For those of you who don't know what a transfer station is - it's a dump.  We saw hardened lava at the dump.  That's not in the guidebook either.  

Bucket List Item #394: See a volcano.  


Part 4: We would have been terrible Vikings.  

Let's just get back to the fact that the ocean is terrifying.  The creatures that swim in the ocean are ginormous and sneak up on you.  I'm prepared to handle the predators of land - I can hear a bear crashing through the woods a mile away (okay... that may be a little exaggeration) but you get the idea.  Sharks?  Those suckers sneak up on you.  Urchins?  They just sit there like silent jagged rocks.  Manta rays?  Don't even get me started... 

While my first snorkeling experience didn't exactly go swimmingly (pun intended), my second was much better.  We look a sea kayak tour that included some snorkel time -  and after a serious internal battle (one in which my body was pretty adamant about remaining in the kayak and my brain was saying 'stop being a baby'), I jumped out of the kayak and snorkeled around a bit.  Actually... it went something more like this: put feet over edge of kayak. Pull them back in. Get yelled at by Paige for being a weenie.  Put feet back out - touch them to the water and try not to think of the story of the guy having his legs bitten off by a shark out of a kayak (thanks for that, Maui guy).  Fling self into water (yup... just as graceful as it sounds).  Immediately try to curl up into a floating version of the fetal position.  Realize I'll drown if I don't swim.  Tentatively swim.  Finally... snorkel.  I definitely never let the boat get more than 20 feet away from me.  But I did it.  And I didn't cry.  

Proof that I was, at one point, totally submerged in the ocean.
And not because I was drowning.  Two thumbs up!

Sea kayaking on the other hand was something COMPLETELY different than what I've gotten used to doing around here.  This was for several reasons:  
  1. There are waves.
  2. There is seasickness.  
  3. There are shadows under the water that you are convinced are manta rays (and come on, at least one of them must have been something slightly more terrifying than a rock). 
  4. We were terrible at rowing in tandem.  
Oh well... you can't be good at everything. 
When no one else is on the water to take your picture - selfies become your only option. 
We're in a sea cave. (If you sing it to the tune of 'I'm On A Boat', it gets way more exciting) 
Things we learned while on our kayaking adventure?
We would have made terrible vikings.
 Rowing in tandem?  Not our thing. 

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